Still too busy with the gallery – but some observations

A corner of the Upstairs Gallery, with my woodcuts behind the jewelry case
My woodcuts hanging in the gallery

I’ve still largely been spending my time on the Upstairs Gallery. It is now up and running and the time commitment is getting clearer. But almost more of a problem than time is my mental state. The gallery requires my ‘business brain’ ie the way I thought when I used to work as an accountant – logical, task focussed, following rules and structures, and dealing with lots of people and their points of view. This is way of thinking drives away my ‘artist brain’ which is dreamy, introverted, wandering aimlessly, solitary, without rules and boundaries. I understand now why I didn’t do art when I was working, and am also puzzling over how to switch between these ways of thinking so I can do both. I believe that the gallery is good for me artistically, in that part of art that needs to ‘get out there’, in the art community, with other artists and viewers – and to exhibit and even make sales. And I am very privileged to have this opportunity to do this with art.

However, I’ve got to balance it up – so that I can just go and make work in my studio. I did a bit last week, but no success this week. I did have a prod from what Julia Cameron calls the great Creator, when I bought a box of brushes and paint on the market for £25 – used but lots of good quality brushes and paints. Suggesting i should do some painting?
I’ve started on an altered Atlas – which is fun to think about. It’s an old Bartholmew’s Atlas, and has the same graphics as my father’s atlas that I used to look at when I was a child. I feel a great sense of familiarity as I look at it – and an excitement and sense of breaking the boundaries as I permit myself to drawn and paint and cut the pages – like breaking a taboo, and I hardly know how to start. I looked at  ‘Map as Art’ book for ideas, which will start me off. I like that about altered books – I  don’t worry about plagarism, originality or whether what I am doing is any good – I allow myself to relax in a way I don’t when I’m doing a separate artwork. Perhaps because it feels more personal, and is enclosed, secreted in the covers of the book. Also the book is a variable in itself, so any interaction with an idea from another artwork will be different.
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